This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Brendan Rodgers has revealed why he was ready to risk the wrath of Swansea City to take Joe Allen to Liverpool - claiming he had to beat his rivals to the deal.
Ex-Swans boss Rodgers takes on his former club on Wednesday when Michael Laudrup's men head to Anfield for a mouth-watering Capital One clash, facing Swansea for the first time since quitting South Wales five months ago.
In a candid interview with Wales On Sunday, Rodgers opens up on the agonising decisions he faced when offered to replace Kenny Dalglish and his feelings on the uncertain reaction he will get from Swansea fans in three days' time.
But Rodgers makes no apology for luring Allen to Liverpool in a record-breaking £15m move, convinced he would have lost out to a top flight rival if he hadn't.
The deal angered large parts of the Swans support after it seemingly went against a pledge not to swoop for any Swansea players in his first 12 months on Merseyside.
But Rodgers said: "I had terrific relationship with the chairman Huw Jenkins and it was a simple call.
"I said, 'Listen, if there is a market for Joe and there was obvious interest in him, I would love to be in that market if he is going to go.
"Then I got a call four or five days later asking me what I was thinking - that told me he was ready for a sale.
"I was aware of the market for Joe.
"If you are talking big and iconic clubs - and even if I was still the manager of Swansea - it was only going to be a matter of time before someone's resources would come in and tempt him away."
Rodgers used a huge chunk of his transfer budget to make Allen his key summer signing, the Swans having to cope without the Wales playmaker but recouping an incredible windfall in return.
And the dragged out deal was initially criticised by those who felt Rodgers should have invested in a bigger name.
But the Northern Irishman has insisted he knew it was no gamble in signing the 22-year-old, slamming 'snobbery' surrounding smaller clubs and claiming Allen has been Liverpool's best player this season.
He said: "It was never a risk. There was no doubt for me because I've always said the boy is a top player - and he's proven that in the short period of time he's been here.
"Like myself, he wasn't crying to leave Swansea, but I knew he could help define the philosophy which we're starting and looking to form.
"He's been a massive revelation and it's great credit to Swansea and his upbringing that he has come in here and been arguably our best player.
"He's been phenomenal with his precision in his passing, his technique and his vision.
"And it's great for Liverpool supporters because they were probably not sure of the £15m fee - but they have been surprised.
"Sometimes there is a snobbery towards players of smaller clubs, but top players weren't just dropped out of heaven.
"They have to start out somewhere.
"Joe's just got an in-built brain for football and life.
"He's a very humble kid.
"He's just strolled in here and not many people will have known him.
"But if you ask anyone here, including the players, they will know him now."